The Obligation to Disclose the Information Source as a Dangerous Precedent
15.07.2014
10:00
The decision of the Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative District on the publications of Hraparak daily and ilur.am website concerning an accident in Gyumri may become a challenging precedent to silence mass media and limit the freedom of speech.

The panelists included:

Armine Ohanyan, Editor-in-Chief of Hraparak Daily;

Levon Barseghyan, President of ‘Asparez’ Gyumri’s Journalists’ Club;

Artak Zeynalyan, lawyer, member of ‘Rule of Law’ NGO;

Genya Petrosyan, Deputy Human Rights Defender.

Is the decision made in a closed hearing legal?

The Court of General Jurisdiction of Kentron and Nork-Marash Administrative District issued the given decision without the participation of mass media representatives who claim that they were not even informed that an inspector of the RA Special Investigation Service had brought a suit to examine a suit based on their publications.

Armine Ohanyan confirmed that they received a Special Investigation Service notice requesting to provide the Service with data concerning the information source. A written reply was certainly sent, as Armine Ohanyan said, ‘referring to the RA Law on Mass Media we wrote that we had used all the information in the publication which can be referred to, as for the source, we wouldn’t disclose it.’

Armine Ohanyan describes the case as an unprecedented and new method which is applied against mass media. With respect to the legality of the decision, Atak Zeynalyan said ‘the court was not competent to take the claim and hold the hearings without the participation of the mass media.’ In addition, the journalist who is the information possessor must take part in the hearings and present their arguments; Artak Zeynalyan concluded ‘this case could not be examined either according to the criminal code or even civil code. It is an illegal action since the court did not act under the law.’

The Human Rights Defender of Armenia is seriously concerned over the possible dangers in protection of information source

Genya Petrosyan clarified that the Human Rights Defender is not competent to comment on the cases which are still in the trial process but she discussed some points pertaining to the case. Particularly, she noted ‘obliging the mass media to disclose the information source to contribute to the investigation may result in the devaluation of the given right and exclusion of the opportunity for mass media to acquire information, which is very dangerous.’

The panelist also mentioned that Karen Andreasyan, Human Rights Defender of Armenia, has filed a written proposal of amendments to the Ministry of Justice.

The court decision will not force the given mass media to shift their news policy

Levon Barseghyan is convinced that law enforcement agencies will not silence Hraparak and ilur.am. According to Barseghyan, it may be an effort to ‘threaten those mass media which are already frightened as if to teach a lesson to everyone saying that you will have such risks if you don’t work as data collector for us.’

The representatives of Hraparak and ilur.am appealed the decision of the court of General Jurisdiction in the court of appeal.

Photos
Videos
Print Friendly and PDF
More Press Releases
Election Race in the Armenian Online Platforms - 2018
19.12.2018
12:00
Region research center conducted a research on Election Race in the Armenian Online Platforms – 2018 researching 22 Facebook pages of the political forces standing in the elections in 6 online platforms since November 1.
THE RIGHTS OF ARMY RECRUITS IN WINTER 2017 AND SUMMER 2018 CONSCRIPTION
18.12.2018
12:00
On December 18 HCA Vanadzor office presented a report on The Rights of Army Recruits in Winter 2017 and Summer 2018 at Media Center.
“The New Parliament: Mechanisms to Control the Authorities and Shape Counterbalance”.
14.12.2018
17:00
On December 14 Media Center initiated an online live debate at A1Plus pavilion on “The New Parliament: Mechanisms to Control the Authorities and Shape Counterbalance”.
Human Rights Violations in Penitentiary Institutions in 2017-2018
13.12.2018
11:00
The years long prevailing issues in penitentiary institutions remain unsolved. This was the note struck by public group of monitors conducting supervision over RA ministry of justice penitentiary institutions on December 13 Media Center discussion.
Human Rights in 2018: Annual Sum Up
12.12.2018
11:00
For 25-30 years issues related to human rights violations in Armenia have been in our spotlight: Such was the notice of Larisa Alaverdyan, head of “Fighting Against Violations of Law” NGO, first Ombudsperson of Armenia on December 12 at Media Center press conference.
Follow us on social networks
Registration of events
Services
Videos
Press Releases
Armenia-Turkey Events